Intel vice president Sean Maloney to become chairman of Intel China

Intel is bringing one of its top executives to China, in a move that is meant to bolster the company's strategy in a country set to become the world's largest PC market. The chip maker is naming Sean Maloney to become chairman of Intel China, an entirely new position.

Maloney is currently an executive vice president and general manager for the company's Intel Architecture Group, which builds products and services for computing devices like PCs, data centres and handheld devices. He will continue as executive vice president after moving to the new position.

Maloney will start in the position some time this summer, according to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.

"He will be implementing Intel's strategy for long term success in China. But he won't be focusing on day to day stuff," Mulloy added. "He will be our highest ranking person in China."

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Intel is adding the new position even as China's importance as a PC market is expected to increase. PC unit shipments in China are expected to surpass shipments in the US in 2012, according to research firm IDC. By 2013, PC sales by value in China will also exceed that of the US.

The move will not change the company's management in China, but add a new layer above the existing business structure, Mulloy added. The company's Ian Yang will still serve in the same capacity as president of Intel China.

Maloney is seen as a potential candidate to eventually replace current Intel CEO Paul Otellini. Maloney's role in China will last two to three years, according to Mulloy.

Maloney worked in the country before during the 1990s, when he managed sales and marketing for all of Asia, including China. He joined Intel in 1982. He suffered a stroke last year, that resulted in a medical leave of absence that lasted for several months.